Published: 01/12/2013
ISBN: 9781783061891
eISBN: 9781783068548
Format: Paperback/eBook

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About the Author

Born in North Norfolk, Robert studied Archaeology at Durham University before embarking on a career in travel. He has trekked across the interior of Borneo, climbed to 21,000 ft in the Himalayas and a... read more

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Sacred Mountain
by Robert Ferguson

Sacred Mountain is a gripping historical novel that takes readers from the stifling jungles of Burma to the soaring peaks of the Himalaya, with vivid descriptions placing them in the heart of the action. It’s a moving story about one man’s life, torn apart by the consequences of war, and his struggle to atone.

Philip Armitage was 19 when he was sent to fight in Burma as an army officer. Deep behind enemy lines and cut off from his column, he struggled to save the lives of his loyal Gurkha soldiers by leading them safely back to India.

Ten years later, haunted by these memories, he arrives in Kathmandu to report for The Times on the 1953 Everest expedition. He finds a city bursting with Tibetan refugees, driven from their homeland by the recent Chinese invasion. Reporters from other papers have also arrived, intent on intercepting The Times exclusive dispatches and scooping the story.

Climbing high into the Himalayan mountains, he finds himself the only person able to lead a mission to save one of Tibetan Buddhism’s most sacred men, and with him the future of the Tibetan resistance. But to do so he must face his past and hope that he can find redemption on the desolate slopes of Everest, the Sacred Mountain...

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BBC interview of Sacred Mountains author.
Hear Robert Ferguson interviewed on the BBC about his novel Sacred Mountain, as well as his travels and adventures in Nepal, Tibet and Burma.

Click here to listen to the interview.

His interview starts at the 3 hour 3 minute point of the programme and last for just over 20 minutes.

Soldier magazine

Historical Novels Society




Eastern Daily Press

Female First

Enjoyed this. Went along at a good pace and had a good story. The flashbacks to Burma added to the main action in Nepal/Tibet. Well worth the download as it kept me hooked to the last page.

by Paul Cooper

I enjoyed Sacred Mountain by Robert Ferguson immensely. I am a big fan of action, adventure and mystery novels and this one proved to be a real page turner. Books, for me, are an important means of escape from the humdrum everyday and the more exciting the better. The action takes place in Burma and the Himalayas and I really felt I was there with the novel's main protagonist every step of the way. It would make a great film!

by R Hardy

I have just read Sacred Mountain and found the story captivating and couldn't put the book down. It is so well written you feel you are there, in Nepal. I also found the book extremely educational having never been to the areas where the book is set.

by Paul Hickey-Fry

Sacred Mountain by Robert Ferguson is not a novel a lot of people are talking about. It is put out by a small publisher with a limited marketing campaign. And yet, it caught my attention because it combines two of my favorite historical themes: early climbers of Mount Everest and the Asian battles of World War II.

Sacred Mountain tells the story of Philip Armitage's experiences in Burma in 1943 and against the backdrop of Mount Everest in 1953. The 1953 story line is the more engaging and more prominent of the two. Sent to Nepal to report on the Everest expedition, Armitage gets mixed up in defending Tibetan monks crossing the border into Nepal over the Himalayas. Along the way he confronts his war torn past metaphorically in the battles he wages against the Red Army and in reality in the unlikely reuniting with his old Gurkha platoon.

Like so many people, I am fascinated by early attempts to summit Everest. Men risked their lives and those of their sherpas for passing glory, and yet I can't look away. Ferguson, who has worked as a mountain guide in Nepal, brings the trials of these journeys to life. Most importantly, however, Ferguson focuses on the sherpas. By putting them in the spotlight of his narrative he is bringing their knowledge and expertise to the fore. In fact, for much of the narrative Armitage is the only person who is not indigenous to the region.

The one real weakness of the novel was the inclusion of romance. Sigh. Can't we ever just have an adventure story without a romantic interest? Ferguson's story would have been complete without the inclusion of a major female character. I understand that her inclusion attempts at a gender balance in the story, but it also brings up many of the stereotypes of women as care givers and helpmates.

Who would like this novel? If you like action and adventure in the high mountains then this book screams to you. I was drawn to it both because of the Everest connection, but also because of the insight it gives into the plight of Tibetan Buddhists in the face of communist China. In many ways it reminded me of the movie Seven Years in Tibet. A more contemporary take on the same topic is Steven Heighton's 2010 novel Every Lost Country, which I thoroughly enjoyed. All of these would make excellent gifts for someone heading to Nepal.

by Tanya Boughtflower


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